Cannot empty Trash on a Mac; Stuck on Emptying Trash Mac – How to

I was going through my regular Trash deletion process on my Macbook Pro running Mac OS X Lion 10.7 and all of a sudden, when I click on Empty trash, it got stuck, there was no way I could have my trash deleted and it was mounting up my Hard-drive, I did a few search on Google and Apple and found some solutions, but none of them solved my problem.

There are various ways you could solve this problem, I am jotting down a few in this article, I am sure, at least one of them will work for you, for my only the last one worked

1. Use the Terminal to delete the Trash

1. Open Applications > Utilities > Terminal
2. Copy and paste ( chflags -R nouchg ) inside terminal screen. Do not press return yet
3. Open trash bin
4. Press command-A to select all files at once
5. Drag them all inside the Terminal screen
6. Press return
7. You are done! Close everything, open Trash and delete all your files.


2. Use Trash It! App to force delete your Trash Can

Trash It! is an AppleScript-based application that force-empties your Trash and/or removes stubborn items. Especially useful if you have files or folders in the Trash with permissions set incorrectly, locked Trash items, want to securely delete a stuck item, or trash items from other partitions. If you drop files or folders onto the Trash It! icon, it will delete them as well. If you double-click on it, it will clean out your Trash can.

You can Download it from here


3. PRAM Reset

None of the above ways worked for me, so as a last resort I tried to do a PRAM Reset and Voila!

How to do a PRAM Reset on a Mac

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  6. Release the keys.

Your computer’s PRAM and the NVRAM are reset to the default values. The clock settings may be reset to a default date on some models.

This should solve your problem definitely, if not there is some corruption on the software, you should contact Apple Care.

P.S.: Contents of PRAM

  • Status of AppleTalk
  • Serial Port Configuration and Port definition
  • Alarm clock setting
  • Application font
  • Serial printer location
  • Autokey rate
  • Autokey delay
  • Speaker volume
  • Attention (beep) sound
  • Double-click time
  • Caret blink time (insertion point rate)
  • Mouse scaling (mouse speed)
  • Startup disk
  • Menu blink count
  • Monitor depth
  • 32-bit addressing
  • Virtual memory
  • RAM disk
  • Disk cache
Do let us know if this solved you problem, and if it did, please feel free to share this article amongst your friend and like us on Facebook

The DNetWorks Team